Emily's Reviews > Wither

Wither by Lauren DeStefano
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Aug 18, 11

bookshelves: 2011-reads, sci-fi-fantasy
Read in January, 2011

Wither
By Lauren DeStefano
Call# YA DES
3 stars

This book disturbed me. I thought I’d just put that out there. It’s the kind of disturbed when the story stays with you long after you’ve finished the last page. You think about it, question it in your head, and then think about it a little more. It’s almost as if the book literally haunts you. I had the same reaction to Neal Shusterman’s Unwind, and I just can’t seem to get Wither out of my head.

“Seventy years ago science perfected the art of children.” (Red flag!) Thanks to this wonderful development, the first generation of this modern science live like immortals, immune to disease. The second generation is, however, not so lucky. Children conceived by the first generation are on borrowed time. Males only live to the age of 25, while females contract a deadly virus at 20. The world is slowly dying. Young girls are kidnapped, married off to the highest bidder, and forced to become baby making machines in attempts to save the human race. Rhine Ellery has just been kidnapped along with two other girls who all become the new brides to House Governor Linden Ashby, a young man morning the death of his first wife and true love. Held captive in the Ashby house, the young girls quickly learn that Linden’s father, Housemaster Vaughn, is conducting experiments in the basement, looking for an antidote to the virus that will take there lives in only a few years. Rhine will stop at nothing to escape her captivity and the horrors that await her in the basement.

Is all science, good science? What if the human race goes too far? What would you do if you knew exactly when you were going to die? Those are the questions that keep coming back to me when I think of the book. I was quickly mesmerized by Rhine’s story, sharing her doubts and fears, cheering her on as she fought to escape the evil Housemaster Vaughn. I’ll be very interested to see where the author takes the story in this planned trilogy. I highly recommend Wither by Lauren DeStefano is fans of dystopias and intrigue.
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